The description in the notice tugged at hearts of many who read it:
“We have seen children trying to hand their parents their work they completed and the parent is on the phone,” the sign added. “We have heard a child say ‘Mommy, mommy, mommy…’ and the parent is paying more attention to their phone than their own child. It is appalling.”
But the fact is, parents at functions from dance recitals to little league games are texting or viewing cell phones rather than their offspring. What interpersonal message does that convey?
It very well may send a message, psychologists say. A new study shows that distracted parenting can have long-term deleterious effects, including children’s ability to experience joy and pleasure.
In another study, researchers spied on 55 parents and caregivers eating or interacting with children, from infants to 10-year-olds, in restaurants in the Boston area. According to NBC News, “Of the 55, 40 used a mobile device during the meal. Sixteen of these adults used the mobile device throughout the meal.”
Interpersonal Divide in the Age of the Machine devotes a chapter to the effects of technology on children, including how parents use and abuse devices, instilling life-long lessons and, perhaps, problems.